I spend a lot of time with my friends and family. They are really wonderful people, full of humour, generosity, sweetness and creative spark. I love all those things, but the sparks are particularly super great. The sparks these people give off make my ears prick up and my brain tick faster. They give me clues about all kinds of things: how other people stay focussed, concoct ideas, weave concepts together, fix problems, fix things and stay on the creative straight and narrow, in their own wiggly way. (Apart from the sparks they also offer a good shoulder to cry on and a bracing cup of tea.)
I am lucky enough to have friends who are designers, illustrators, print-makers, jewellers, painters, shoemakers, writers, musicians and seamstresses, to name a few. Watching them work, think and live keeps me excited about working, thinking and living. I also have friends who are shop assistants, teachers, lawyers, marketers and executives of one kind or another. They go about their lives in creative ways and approach their work with inspiring smarts. They show me that you can live your life artfully, no matter how straight you may seem.
As much as I do admire entrepreneurism, it’s not really on my radar when it comes to buddies. I’m impressed by the ability some people have to build a business and make money, that’s for sure, and consider it an art in itself. But I am no gold-digger, and for me, gathering a group of people with a crafty outlook and clever ways of cutting and pasting their lives together is much more my cup of tea. (If you happen to be clever with the cash and moving and shaking, well that’s awesome, but it’s actually the last box ticked on my list.)
I’ve always got my feelers out for these cut and pastey types. I just KNOW them when I meet them, and I want them to meet other great people I know, so we can all talk about good stuff and drink cider together. We can hatch all sorts of collaborative projects (even if it is just next week’s Dumpling Night!) We can solve problems together. We can help each other see things with fresh, new eyes. We can teach one another. We can share studio space, set up websites, bake cakes…
We can go about all this great stuff with the ulterior motive of making friends and making stuff and making progress. My Musketeers are a constant reminder of how great people can be, and how much we can all do if we band together with good humor and good grace. There are no disappointments or expectations. Everything is a gift, an awakening, a giggle with them. The things we have in common bind us together and keep us inspired.
So what about you? Have you got your ear to the ground? Are you gathering your own gang? Do you have a posse of inspiring people around you? Are you bouncing off the greatness of other creative types? What do your friends mean to you, in this crafty life?
(If this is not ringing a bell with you, then I totally advise you to actively start seeking out the sorts of people that make you feel supported, inspired and challenged. It is the very stuff that life is made of! Make friends. Make stuff. Make progress!)